Our Mukti skin experts often receive queries and requests on how best to care for male skin. This may be due to a number of reasons. Firstly, a large portion of the Australian male population still experiences stigma surrounding grooming and personal care, and may find it difficult to seek guidance from their social circle due to fear of judgement. Another is that there are several key physiological differences between male and female skin due to hormonal composition that may benefit from slightly different skincare approaches.
In celebration of Father’s Day, we’ve created a few simple guidelines around men’s skincare, designed to suit all whether you’re new to skincare or a self-professed skin expert.
Many studies report that skin oiliness is often greater in men due to male sex hormones. This can mean a higher presence of breakouts, blocked pores, blackheads, or simply generalised shine. Oil production can be regulated with the use of vitamin A skincare products. Breakouts and blockages can also be reduced with gentle enzyme exfoliants every few days. Enzymes like fruit acids can assist in breaking up blockages, which mechanical exfoliants like scrubs cannot achieve alone.
Literature also demonstrates males showing greater levels of pigmentation. This means pigment-combatting serums like vitamin A, vitamin C, brightening agents like Kakadu Plum and Desert Lime, and sunscreen are crucial. Even when pigmentation can’t be seen on the surface, it can often occur in the deeper dermal layers of the skin only to appear later in life.
Steps For Your Home Routine
No matter which, or how many, products you (or your male counterpart) use at home, these steps can be followed to simplify your routine.
- Cleanse morning and night if possible. Though if cleansing twice daily really does not suit you or your routine, cleansing once at night is better than nothing!
- Use watery, light-textured products first. These are likely water-soluble. Product application is usually ordered sequentially from lightest to heaviest. Creamy textures like emulsions and moisturisers are usually oil-soluble, and should be used after water-soluble products. Using oils first may block the absorption of your water-soluble solutions.
- If you use brightening and/or antioxidant serums, such as vitamin C, apply these in the morning after cleansing. Follow with moisturiser and ALWAYS apply sunscreen. UV exposure will create pigmentation and cause ageing faster than anything, and undo all of the good work your skincare is doing.
- If you use vitamin A, apply it at night. Avoid mixing with other active ingredients like vitamin C, enzymes, or chemical exfoliants. Follow with moisturiser.
- If you use multiple active ingredients across different brands, be sure to follow directions from your treating skin therapist. If your products are all gentle enough, it may be suitable to use them one after the other. If they are quite strong, such as some pigment inhibitors and some vitamin A products, it may be ill-advised to use them on the same day.
- If you use hydrating serums like hyaluronic, gentle antioxidant plant extract-based serums, or calming agents like vitamin B (niacinamide) these can be used at any time, and mixed with any other product.
- Avoid aftershave products with high volumes of alcohol or artificial fragrance, as these can increase sensitivity and stimulate pigmentation through sun-sensitisation. Switch to a calming, anti-inflammatory serum instead, designed to reduce irritation and feed skin with nutrients at the same time.
- If you use a facial oil at night, including beard oil, apply this last. If applying in the morning, apply after serums and moisturisers but finish with sunscreen.